DAY 1: Our Father Is Yahweh
When we pray, “Our Father,” we are not praying to a distant, uninvolved, abstract thing called "god." We are praying to the living God, our Father who “abound[s] in faithful love” (Psa. 86:15).
Our Abba is not a deadbeat dad.
He is near.
He is present.
His concern for us touches our biggest problems and smallest details.
He hears our cries before we ever speak a word.
Ever since the dark power seduced Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, people have been enslaved to sin and death (Gen. 3:1-6). But this is not the real enemy. Sin and death are consequences of the real enemy—idolatry.
Idolatry is not a word that twenty-first-century people use much. It sounds old-fashioned. The worship of idols. Idolatry is simply replacing the uncreated Creator with created things and exchanging “the glory of the immortal God for images” (Rom 1:23). Idolatry is when we set our affections on anything or anyone to give us ultimate love, value, and purpose. Whatever we look to for the ultimate things in life is our god, and anything besides the one true God is a false god. It might be money, sex, pleasure, body image, the opinions of others, politics, safety. Looking for satisfaction in these things is idolatry.
It was Abba’s grace that set his people free from slavery to their idols so they could worship him, take upon his love, his agenda, and his character. Abba is jealous in the sense that he knows that if we give our hearts to another, sin and death are the consequences.
As I grow as Jesus’ apprentice, I discover more and more how idolatry strips us of our humanity. A person is truly made human by participating in the life of God, imaging forth the glory of the Creator. The Garden of Eden was God’s temple, where heaven and earth overlapped. When God breathed life into Adam and Eve, he created his first royal priests. The first family was to birth a kingdom of priests who had the sacred vocation of joyfully expressing Abba’s wise, beautiful, and loving reign to all the earth. Humanity alive is Abba glorified.
When we choose idolatry, we are choosing to renounce our right to rule and reign with our Creator. We are born to reign with God; therefore, we need to be born again so we can enter our sacred purpose.
Despite our waywardness, God was always on his way to rescue us. He heard our cries for help. Like a loving, protective daddy, he ran to us with us open arms, an eternal redemption and covenant in hand, inviting us back into his family.